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New report calls for the opening up of theatres to the next generation of emerging artists

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A new report has called for theatres closed by the pandemic to be opened up to the next generation of emerging artists so they can learn their trade while stages are shut.

The 120-page Big Freelancer Report is based on a survey of 8,000 people working in theatre and argues the collapse in the performing arts has hit freelancers the hardest.

It states: “The only way to acquire new skills is to practice them. The moment we find ourselves in offers a once in a generation opportunity for emerging artists. Many of the nation’s theatres will be operating a reduced production schedule over the coming months. Some will be ‘dark’.

“We propose the formation of a consortium…willing to temporarily re-designate their auditoria as ‘training spaces’.”

The report also calls for a National Arts Service which would see funding directed to smaller local projects across the UK.

The report goes on to say “the income crisis” for freelancers “predates the pandemic” with 40% of “young freelancers” earning less than £10,000 a year which meant they were less able cope when work disappeared in lockdown.

It concludes: “There is no recovery possible for the sector without the freelancers” and in an “ecosystem as complex and interconnected as the performing arts, what is good for an early career freelancer working on their first studio show is good for the commercial producer transferring a production to Broadway”,

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